Kongsfjord - 70°43'N 29°21'E
KONG21 - October 14 to 22, 2011
preKONG/ADXS - September 8 to
Arnstein Bue, Bjarne Mjelde, OJ Sagdahl, Tore Johnny Bråtveit
Arnstein: 1 x Perseus
Bjarne: 2 x Perseus, Excalibur G31 + G33, NetSDR
OJS: 2 x Perseus, QS1R
Tore Johnny: 2 x Excalibur G31, SDR-IQ, Icom R75
KONG21 is over. We left early morning 22-OCT-2011 after a quite uneventful night. The conclusion is that things could have been worse - given the general conditions so far this fall. But judging from what others heard the same time we did not catch a lot. It seems that there were large geographical variations in this period, and we were clearly in the wrong end of the scale. But we did have a good time, and enjoyed good food & company. We will meet again next year!
21-OCT-2011 16:00 UTC
Finally some action! North America reasonably good during the night, down a bit after sunrise but then coming back quite strong with west coast signals, Alaska and Hawaii. Stations worth mentioning are KJCR-MT 1240, KPAY-CA 1290, KCMY-NV 1300, KZIZ-WA 1560 - most of these (and a lot of others) with really excellent signal strength! The real fun started however with the station we believe is Radio Kiribati on 1440. Already before 09:00 UTC it was there and got stronger and stronger ... way past it's normal closing hour 09:30 UTC. It became the stongest skywave signal in the AM band, only beaten by some local Russian stations accross the border. We believe that they ran overtime because of local elections in Kiribati today, and the sections with talk between the typical songs contained a lot of "Kiribass", Tarawa, Bairiki and other names that fit well with Kriribati. It sounded like it was election results. It went well for hours with only a weak Russian signal below and occasionaly a very weak CKJR-AB and with no trace of Japan. In addition to this we noted well known Pacific music on 1017 (presumed Tonga), Newstalk ZB on 1035, island style music on 1098 and 1152 (presumed Marshall and Fiji) as well as an excellent signal on AFN Marshall Islands on 1224. There is probably more on the hard disks.
Now we are soon off to Kongsfjord Gjestehus for our annual KONG dinner! Cheers!
20-OCT-2011 17:00 UTC
Nothing new today. Slightly better conditions and nice signals from Guam but that was it.
We are preparing the traditional reindeer sirloin dinner - this time with a Santa Kristina ham with salt baked tomatoes as a starter. We will enjoy a couple of bottles of Clos de Brusquieres Chateau Neuf du Pape 2006 with this. Skål!
19-OCT-2011 16:00 UTC
Yet another uneventful night and day. Almost nothing during the night, but after 06:00 UTC it improved a bit. Most exciting catch was CKAT-ON 600 which is a rare one, despite it's 5 kW during night with a pattern towards the north. Some Asians in the afternoon and ABC 1548 + X-band Aussies. The band is quite silent though so we are hoping for improvement!
We are currently preparing dinner - parmesan gratinated king crab legs for starter and a honey-mustard lamb steak for main course. A Mittelheimer Goldberg 2009 Riesling for the starter and a Benanti Rosso di Verzella 2208 for the lamb. Bon appetit!
18-OCT-2011 17:00 UTC
Nothing much during the night, and then around 06:00 UTC the AM band went empty - just like that! We had contact with fellow DX-ers at different sites in the area and they all experienced the same sudden drop. None could provide an explanation either ... The conditions started to slowly recover around 10:00 UTC but not enough to bring anything interesting to the table. Asia was also absent for a long time, but when the stations started to come in they came in quite well and we logged quite a few Japanese as well as Filipino and Thai stations. X-band Australians were quite good as well, but only ABC 1548 was audible inband.
Now we are preparing tonight's dinner: The the starter is funnel chanterelle (craterellus tubaeformis) soup followed by Bue's Beef - Uruguayan tenderloin cooked Arnstein style, served with red wine sauce and hasselback potatoes. Very good as we know ;-) We are having port wine with the starter (Niepoort LBV 2005) and with the main course we will enjoy Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2009 and after that a Weinert Carrascal (Mendoza) 2006. Bon appetit!
17-OCT-2011 29:00 UTC
There were few stations during the night, but as daylight came the more interesting stations came in as well. Again stations from the west coast dominated, and some California stations like KTCT-CA 1050, KIHH-CA 1400 and KBLA-CA 1580 had very nice signals. We even got a few new ones for some of us, like KQEQ-CA 1210 and KPAY-CA 1290. We were a little puzzled by KQEQ's identification but Henrik Klemetz sorted that out quickly. Thank you Henrik! The graveyard channels were very open and clear, and we expect to find more stations there.
Very strong signals from Asia in the afternoon and a couple of new Japanese stations were logged. Australia was present with good signals in the X-band, but even audible on 792 and 1548. We even found time for a quick run to the lighthouse and a visit to Berlevåg during the day.
Preparations for dinner started quite early in the afternoon since we had to make foccacia. With the foccacia out of the oven we salt-damped king crab legs and let them cool for an hour. Then we enjoyed fresh foccacia with Siberian Chive Oil (a really remarkable local product) and luke-warm king crab. A Chablis Premier Cru 2008 from Gérard Duplessis did not make the experience worse. Actually - at the end of the meal we concluded that this had been one of the best KONG-dinners ever ... like so many times before. For dessert we had made a special tri-color jello that fortunately tasted better than it looked ...
16-OCT-2011 21:00 UTC
Just a short notice for an update in todays menu:
Salmon sashimi according to this recipe: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/salmon-sashimi-with-ginger-and-hot-sesame-oil
We accompanied this excellent starter with a wonderful locally made sake from Nøgne Ø. See this link for more information: http://sakenogne-o.blogspot.com/
For main course we had Bjarne's very tasty
Salma salmon wok - see here for more infomation on the Salma salmon:
We accompanied this course with a quite (very!) interesting white wine from the Jura region: Les Gravieres 2008 from Benedicte & Stephane Tissot. Recommended!
After a cheese intermezzo while we finished the white wine we completed the meal with traditional chocolate pudding and vanilla custard served with a Disaronno amaretto.
We are preparing ourselves for an eventful next 24 hours!
There were stations in the band all night but it only started to get interesting in the morning. Still no very exciting conditions, but again a few new ones for everyone. Radio Kiribati 1440 was back with a very nice signal in periods between 08:30 and 09:30 UTC when it closed down. We predict that this station will become common and widely heard in the north of the Nordic countries - unless something very special is happening here ;-)
From North America new KTFI-ID 1340 owned the frequency from early in the morning, but had company of several of the more common ones (CBC, KACH-ID, KELK-NV). Several stations were heard with super signals, like KSFB-CA 1260 and a number of the Alaskan and Hawaiian stations. A cool representative is KXXJ-AK 1330 with a great format and nice jingles. We expect to find a few nice one in the recordings from today.
Signals from the west are weak now, so we are focusing on Asia and Pacific. Japan started to come in well before 9:00 UTC and have been very strong during the day. In addition New Zealand appeared on 1035 briefly, while Guam 567 and 801 was logged a little later and now we are listening for Australia. Several inband Australians have been logged the last hour, even with a few new ones with ABC on 711 and 792. We hope for more, but it seems to be over now.
15-OCT-2011 19:00 UTC
Conditions improved during the day and we had signals much later than ever before this season. US west coast stations like KNRY-CA 1240 were very good 13-14 UTC, as well as several Alaskan and Hawaiian stations like KLAM-AK 1450 and KIKI-HI 990.
For dinner today we had fresh figs with Santa Katarina ham, parmesan and parsley, followed by the traditional king crab carbonara accompanied with another tradition - Kim Crawford's Sauvignon Blanc - now in the 2010 "vintage".
We are still inbetween dinner and dessert, but after a little rest we will take on stilton, roquefort, gruyere and chevre accompanied by a Niepoort LBV 2005. Have a good night everyone!
15-OCT-2011 12:00 UTC
The conditions suffered a bit from the solar activity during the night, but not as bad as we feared. But it gave some unusual results, like KTIL-OR 1590 being strong and alone on the frequency for several hours this morning. Other findings from the last few nights are WSTV-OH 1340, WMOB-AL 1360, WTAB-NC 1370, KSLG-MO 1380, WICY-NY 1490, KLFJ-MO 1550, WPFC-LA 1550 - some of them new for some of us. Taking into account how bad this fall has been up to now, this is quite a lot better than we expected. Let's hope it continues this way!
14-OCT-2011 18:00 UTC
Today is the first day of KONG21 and it gave the best listening conditions towards North America so far this season. The signals were many and steady till about noon UTC. That's a first - but hopefully not a last. KKXA-WA 1520 was noted with an excellent signal and will certainly be heard again ;-)
A quite big surprise discovered by Bjarne was Radio Kiribati on 1440 kHz. They have a new 10 kW transmitter, replacing the old 846 transmitter. The signal was really nice in periods up to close down at 09:50 UTC. Some other Pacific signals were barely surfacing, so judged from this Kiribati will also most likely be heard again on 1440.
The predictions for the next 24 hours are not particularly nice, but we hope for a last surge before the solar disturbance and that the conditions quickly recover.
You can also read updates from the KONG21 expedition on Bjarne's private blog - http://arcticdx.blogspot.com.
5-OCT-2011 08:00 UTC
I about a week from now we will be heading north. The listening conditions so far this fall has been quite bad. Very few intereting trans-atlantic signals have been heard, and Far East and Pacific signals are almost non-existent. It has improved a bit the last few days, but still no new loggings. I just compared today's recordings with 5-OCT-2010 and it's an amazing difference. But I also looked into the KONG-logs from late 1990s. In 1998 we had two NA-stastions in the KONG-log: CHSM-MB 1250 and CFOK-AB 1370. We hope to beat that this year ;-)
12-SEP-2011 09:00 UTC
Last evening gave some super signals from Australia, but unfortunately we were too late to catch anything new. At 17:45 UTC I was setting up my receiver for recording and discovered ABC Emerald on 1548 with a very strong signal. Checking other frequencies in the band I heard down under English on several. The recording was started and I was looking forward to the top of the hour. But then at 17:50 UTC it was all gone - completely!
Similar conditions during the night with a flash of good NA signals around 01:00 UTC and then "dead band".
11-SEP-2011 15:30 UTC
ADXS #2 is over and it's only Tore Johnny and OJ left in Kongsfjord. We had a great weekend with our DX-colleagues from Finland. A lot of information and experience was exchanged, and a lot of good food and beverage was consumed. You can see more about the ADXS in Bjarne's blog.
All antennas are now up and tested and working well. We are now rigging our receivers for remote operation for the few weeks up to KONG21. We hope to be able to catch the some new Pacific signals as well as the often interesting stations that come in from North America this early in the season. This weekend the conditons were quite bad and no interesting signals were observed.
20-AUG-2011 14:00 UTC
Days are getting shorter, nights are getting longer ... what a wonderful feeling ;-)
Bjarne has started to erect antennas at Veines. The 50-degree antenna is up, now with twin-ax feeder. The 310-degree is being erected as I write this. See more about the current action at Veines in Bjarne's blog.